Thursday, July 30, 2009

No More Sleeps!!

See you both for supper tonight. Hope you both get there in time to set up tents in daylight. The car is packed and the garbage is out. I cancelled the newspaper.

No More Sleeps!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Food for thought

Pati here.
I wonder if we would ever have put this weekend together without the blog. One more sleep. See you both tomorrow--today I shop and pack. Thank Goodness we took a load down a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Be- Packed and ready

A quick note - its 7 pm my time Tuesday evening and I have just packed the car except for last minute food stuff etc. Some of my food stuff includes peanuts in the shell which I love to eat - I shall be bringing them but if Amber's friend changes her mind between now and then, the peanuts can remain in my car. Harry checked the long range weather for that area over the weekend - and since it showed rather low temperatures with precipitation, I quickly packed an extra blanket for sleeping and an extra sweater and jacket, and socks and boots. All shall be well......
Only one more sleep for me here and one on the road and then if all goes as planned I shall see you at the Lake!
Reminder - my cell is (705) 495-5248
Take care XXX

Quiet Day

I enjoyed my time with Carolyn, but have been increasing plagued with a pain in the side . It had been so bad Sunday night that I had been reduced to Tylenol 3--I had some left from a problem a couple of years ago. I was concerned about a bladder/kidney infection and didn't want to be caught at the lake dealing with something like that, so off I went to Urgent Care. So I got to sit for 8 hours and do nothing but read. No-one bothered me, I had a nice chair and managed to score a table to sit at, and the washroom was nearby. I managed to finish two fairly thick novels. I was finally seen about 10:30 and was prodded and x-rayed and punctured and then told they could find nothing wrong. So I have a CT scan today. I ate a couple of poached eggs when I got home last night, but was told not to eat anything until after my test--at 2:00 this afternoon! Now all of this is a bit of a nuisence, but it sure is keeping me quiet--and I think that's more important than anythign else right now. I sure have been over-doing it lately.

Amber's friend will not be joining us. It seems that Sunday night she ended up taking her daughter into emerg by ambulance with severe shock after eating peanut butter. So she now refused to allow her daughter anywhere where there might be a peanut or might have been peanuts at any time in the past. I guess this is a normal reaction to such an event--especially in a single Mom. She'll probalby loosen up a bit after the shock wears off.

Two more sleeps

Monday, July 27, 2009


I hit the wall yesterday in terms of finishing stock for the sale this weekend, and some things just won't get done. So now my energies will be directed toward the last minute stuff for the weekend. David was off this morning to get the chain saw fixed. We hope to get it back by mid-August, as they have another workparty planned. I actually made my lists yesterday, so now we know what we have to buy, what we have to pack, and which chores are to do be done on which day.

Amber tells us that the friend she has invited will only spend the day, if she comes at all. So we're not going to worry about her, although it would be nice if she did come as she has a little one the same age as Jessica. Loren is thinking about maybe popping down for a bit on Friday. He and the children are leaving Sunday for their yearly camp at Clear Lake.

And today, I'm actually going to take enough time off to go out for coffee with my friend Carolyn. She's in town for a teaching job, but now lives in Montreal. It'll be a mixed experience seeing her, as she's been trying to get me to work on getting more teaching jobs for myself, and I'm resistant.

I re-read Beth's post of yesterday and thought about how our lives are different. You described your morning walk so delicately, and so well, that I almost felt I was there with you. I, however, was awakened this morning by the noisy, raucaus, discordant cawing of 500 Grackles at the feeder. We had taken down the feeder because of them, but the baby sparrows and the squirrels were sitting out there complaining of being hungry, so put it up again yesterday. When I was out biking the other day, I found the whole neighbourhood full of the Grackles. I don't think I've ever seen so many any other year. Every block seemed ot have a flock of them.

Just three more sleeps.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Be- Storms and no power

The hydro just came back on after being off all night- it doesn't take much around here for the power to go off but the storm didn't seem to be all that bad or maybe I was so tired I slept through the worst part of it?
Anyway, now I am playing catch up so all my work is done by time Harry arrives back - he left Kirkland Lake at 7:30 this morning so should be home by latest noon. The coffee is just made and tastes so good. Earlier I had a glass of milk with a teaspoon of instant coffee stirred in but it just didn't kick start my day at all. Then I walked the dog down to the lake - hearing the whirl of all the generators pumping the power to many homes and businesses. The lake was breathtaking - it was foggy with a faint mist wetting your face but you could not see the far side of the lake and could only see water and more water shrouded in the mist.
So I shall sign off for now - will hope to send a message before I leave early Wed morning - otherwise "see you soon" Take care

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Circular nature of housework

This is exactly the reason that I decided not to do housework. Unfortunately the housework fairy doesn't work in this neighbourhood, and it's starting to show. I had hoped to do some of it while David was away, but spent the time in the studio instead. Now I'm telling myself that I'll pitch in as soon as we get back from the lake. But even then, David and his sister are planning another work party at the lake for mid-August ( her son has committed to a day helping put a new roof on the cottage) so the circular nature of work in general is starting to play into this. And the Nanking Cherries are ready to pick and a bountiful crop it is.

My friend Dianne was over for a couple of hours yesterday norning. We played with felt and oil paint sticks. Then I had to spend time cleaning up the studio. In the end, I got almost nothing done in terms of creative work yesterday. But I did get to see the end of the mini-series I've been watching all week. I'm glad I did, becasue it looks like they have tied up all of the loose ends for the whole three years the regular series has been running, and there will be no more weekly episodes. The mini-series is coming out on video and I'm tempted to buy it.

Yes, I looked at the schedule for the week and realized that we only have five more sleeps until it will be time to hit the road for the lake. Wednesday will be spent doing the last minute shopping, and packing, so that leaves me four days to finish whatever I can in preparation for the show in Sioux Narrows. The bottom line is that I don't want to do that right now. I've had enough of it over the past three months. I want to sit in my yard and read, or stitch or snooze, but I don't want to be stuck in the basement for one more minute. So we go back to our discussions from earlier in the week. The only person setting goals and deadlines for me is myself. So I think I'll get another cup of coffee and have an argument with myself about what I'm going to do today. I could always spend a couple fo hours making lists--I always seem to enjoy doing that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Be - No driving to Petawawa today

I did not get a call today from Mike for a pickup at Petawawa - waited most of day with phone at the ready - I just called his home number and no answer so I really do not know what's up!
I have been really abusing myself with all this time alone - doing far more than I should be doing in tidying up, but on the other hand the mess has been bothering me for a long time. The trouble is that once you do step one, then there is a step two, and then always a step three and before you know it you are running in circles. At least that's my story, but I have a pile of boxes full of junk that have to be moved from the kitchen floor and I have totally run out of steam. I hate to get up in the morning and find them still in the way (same as a sink full of dirty dishes - I hate to leave them because I always find them in the morning same as I left them the night before) However, that may be just what is going to happen this time. Nothing on TV to distract me, so I may just go to bed and try to start all over in the morning.
I bought a Super 7 ticket for tonight's lottery - usually I never get anything but the Ontario 49 tickets- not even 649 tickets- but I got a sudden urge to splurge so maybe a lucky sign?
Part of my day was to start to accumulate the necessities for my trip. I got my bedding all together and made sure the mattress still functions well. Have a few cloths gathered as well and even got the suitcase out. It really is approaching fast when you realize that Harry comes home Sunday and then I leave Wednesday morning so I have to get ready now.
Well, not right now - as I plan to go to bed right now! But soon... Take care

Last minute preparations

Pati here
Since about March, Herbal Magic has had radio ads promising to help you lose 20 pounds by Canada Day. It was a hoot to hear them in the two weeks before Canada Day. I almost felt like calling them on it. I, too, have been trying to eat a little better. That's one reason I had David take all of the banana bread and cookies down to the lake. So now the lasagne, ribs, meatballs and turkey are all in the freezer down there, as well as the little nibbles. Since I'll be busy elsewhere Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, I'll be counting on my very able sisters to make sure that food magically appears on the table about 30 minutes after I get home each day. And, back on topic, I have no "goodies" in the house. When he left, I bought some deli meats and veggies for my lunches and suppers, and managed to stick to it..

I rode down to Starbucks yesterday morning and had an "apple bran muffin" for breakfast. Won't make that mistake again! Over the two days, I found that, by having some meat at my meals, I wasn't as hungry between meals and able to make it through. Usually I'm nibbling on crackers a couple of hours after eating--not good. I've gained almost 20 lbs since last fall, and my joints tell me about it with every step I take.

My friend, Dianne, has some time to kill today, and called to say that she would be over with coffee about 9:30. This means time spent in the studio, which has been in total chaos with all of the work I've been doing to get ready for Sioux Narrows Festival of the Arts. So last night I had to put things away. Dianne moved mid-June and has been doing a lot of renovations to her new home. So she hasn't been able to get into her studio since about June 1st. She is really in withdrawl, and I can sympathize. But--since I haven't slept well in a couple of nights, I have a hunch it will be Dianne playing my stuff, and me watching.

There has been a Torchwood mini-series on tv every night this week, that I've been watching. I even told David not to phone between 9:00 and 10:00. Wednesday night at 9:40 the phone rang. I answered ready to bitch at David for calling but it was some guy telling me that he had found a cell phone with our number coded in to it! Turned out to be Loren's phone that had been left at the tae kwan do studio. I'm sure glad it got sorted out. Loren has to have the cell for his new job, but he's still not used to having to remember it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be - Crazy Day

The weather is horrendous - constant rain, but then, on a positive note, it means no need to water the garden and flower beds /pots. Harry left for Kirkland Lake early this morning for the weekend and helping with the anniversary party for the parents of his sister in law.
I am sort of on standby in case Mike needs a ride back to North Bay tomorrow - I just spoke with him now, and he says he can line up a ride with someone. But, as has happened before, I still may get a call at the last minute (takes 4 hours to drive there)
I am planning to "eat smart" over the weekend while I am on my own so I can lose about 20 pounds before I head out for the Lake next Wed (just kidding but it would be nice if it could actually happen) By the way, I just had an ice cream bar so I'm well on my way, aren't I?
Our server and consequently the internet access was not working since this morning - I called about 7 am to be told "they had their technicians working on it now" but it wasn't until about 2 pm this afternoon that it all came on line again. Must be the weather!
Patty, I just read your Mouse blog and your comments about cramming to produce sellable pieces of work for the sale as well as getting food ready for the gang. Please be sure to leave some things for the rest of us to do for you OK? I will need to keep busy as is my current "mo" or else I may go into some sort of crisis based on idleness and guilt complex ??? haha
Anyway, I promised myself a nice bath tonight before bed, so I must take the dog out first and then relax and enjoy! Take care

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trying to catch up with yourself

I know exactly what you mean Beth. This summer I had promised myself that I would spend time out in the yard--especially if I could sit and stitch. But I have such long mental lists of things that "need to be done", that I've only been able to get out there once--so far. I find myself apologizing for not being busy every single minute of the day. And I have to give myself permission to sit for a minute or two during the day. The drive/need all comes from internal sources, and I often have to remind myself of that.

I realized that I had never answered your question, Beth. At this point we plan to get to the lake on Thursday--especially if there is any chance you might be able to get there that day. I even have a "Thursday menu" planned-chicken fingers and chips-easily adjusted at the last minute for extra people, just in case Cathy and Jim are able to get away a day early (hint-hint).

So now off for a meeting, and a bit of shopping. David is at the lake for a couple of days, so my time is my own. Oh Yeah! Two meetings and an appointment to have the car serviced!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Be - Life right now

Right now it seems we are going at breakneck speed all the time in order to get things done that have to be done (of course, that is a matter of opinion!) One wonders how we are able to keep up (or not) inspite of all the aches and pains and general malaise which includes insomnia (and bitching). Perhaps a two day drive westward might help me ???
Tomorrow it is off to Mothers again - and to pick up 6 dozen eggs ordered from the local farm ( they are not allowed to advertise or to sell farm eggs by the way) Harry leaves for Kirkland Lake Thursday where he is attending ,but mostly helping organize, his sister in law with a 68th Anniversary Party for her parents with about 150 invited guests at the Legion on Saturday night. The eggs are our contribution for the Pot Luck and he will make devilled eggs at their place. Also he is in charge of setting up and decorating the tables on Friday night. Tonight we went along the lake road and picked cattails, and long grasses to take for the tables. His brother has painted beer bottles red and they will be used to place wild flowers etc as centre pieces. I am staying home.
Tomorrow at 4:30 pm I get my hair cut - it will be just perfect for the trip - no need for fussing with short hair! I can jump into the lake and not worry about it. I can hardly wait - I actually tried on my swim suit the other night - it is still too old and too ugly and too tight - but it, too, will be just perfect!
Anyway, must go for now. Take care

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy day ahead

Today is the day we had scheduled for me to bake for the long weekend. David was off about 6:00 to pick strawberries,which we'll also have to process today Originally, they were going to head for the lake early tomorrow morning, but now they've decided to head down tomorrow evening, so he'll be around for an extra day. I had been going to try to catch up with housework while he was gone, in hopes of tiring myself out so that I'll be able to sleep a little better. I often have problems when he's gone. But I made the base layer of 14 journal covers yesterday, and need to make at least three more just to provide colour variation, although I'll probably do another 7. David made me a little board to carry them outside to dry. The first batch dried in about 1 1/2 hours compared to 48 hours when they dry in the basement. We also went shopping and found books to fill them. I get them at Dollarama, but I think they must be going out of selling them, because we had to visit three before we found any. Mind you, in one of them I had bought the entire stock they had, a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, we also bought the supplies I need for baking including two big bags of bananas. We often have problems finding them on sale but not yesterday, so I have those to do something with today as well. Expect banana bread at the lake.

Back to work

The weekend was a bit busy but fun. Back to work for a week and then a weekend with no plans! We cleaned the office early on Satuday morning so that it wouldn't be hanging over our heads. The Lily Fest parade was about an hour long. Lots of people and tractors. An entire c0ntingent of Phillippinos marced together, and there was a South Korean & Ukrainian pavillion. It seems like all our new immigrants are very receptive to sharing their culture. Back at the legion all the paraders got a free lunch upstairs, but most were in the club room drinking beer. I bussed tables for a while, then we discovered that the sewers were plugged! Both levels full of people and no bathrooms. I was impressed how fast the plumbers arrived. They went in about 70 feet and pulled out a lot of roots. Of course, now the floors need mopping! All they had was a 6 oz mop! I went to the office, cause we have 16 and 20 ouncers. It is amazing how much water (I prefer to think of it as water) can back up our of the sewers. Then, once it was all cleaned up, 3 people bought me a beer! I still had to go and work at the Ukrainian Pavillion. The food there was great. I can't remember the names, but there were perogies, some kind of meat roll, Something like a ravioli, Ukrainian Cabbage rolls. (a bit different from the ones here.... less tomoato) 2 different deserts. One sort of like a fruit filled cresent roll and one that was a crepe with cottage? cheese and apricots. And, of course, Ukrainian beer. Sunday, we were supposed to be selling draw tickets. Your ticket was good for every draw, starting about 2 months ago. Sunday was the last draw and most people either had their tickets or weren't going to spend $20 for one chance at $1000. We didn't sell any and they let us go around noon. The rest of the day was wasted. I did some laundry and read a book (wonderful) We were supposed to have some company but they never made it, so it was relaxing. It will be busy this week again, but I am not going to let it exhaust me anymore. I can only do so much and if they want it done they will have to do it themselves or wait. (so there!) Oh, I forgot the mention the Chip truck was there all weekend....who needs breakfast when there are french fries!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Pati here
Day one went very, very well. Probably the best one-day sales I've had in years. I had thought that I had enough stock for all 7 of the sales I have scheduled over the next 5 months, but already David and I are talking about how I could squeeze out some time to make up some more"stuff" between now and the long weekend. My best sellers are journal cover that I've been making out of "fabric paper", and putting onto some hard-cover composition books I get at Dollarama. I know this is a current fad with young girls, and these fads are often very short-lived, but I get about a 60% profit on each one. I sold out of them at Ft. Whyte in April and even sold a couple at the quilters guild picnic. Anything that gets me a profit anywhere near minimum wage is a "cash cow" for me! I took 14 and sold 7 today. (One turned out to have a loose thread and was carefully tucked awayfor fixing) I even sold one of my larger collages ($125.00) Wish me continued luck for tomorrow!

After tomorrow's sale, we plan to take all of the stock and booth equipment down to the lake, before heading home. This will give us more room for food etc on the long weekend. We plan to shop on Sunday and spend Sunday afternoon and all day Monday power cooking, so that I can freeze most of it and David can take it to the lake when he and Gail go down Tuesday to do a little more work. I'll spend Wednesday and Thursday doing what sewing I can, while he's away. I have supplies for about 8 more journals, but would like to make a couple more small collages as well.

Be- quiet Blog

I know you are busy Patty with your show this weekend - I just read your Mouse Factory Blog so feel up to date with your plans. Hope it goes really well and I'm looking forward to your "report". Presentation is really important - I know this from being a "looky lou" at many shows - some booths you just walk by because there is nothing that draws you in. Where there is someone actually working on a piece, or a special technique ususally has the most people and when you see a lot of people at a booth, you tend to wander over yourself.
I have been busy as well this week but wish I could say it was all productive. Well, that isn't really true as we went to North Bay Thursday to get a few things for Mike as he is coming home this weekend and bringing two friends he made at Petawawa. He asked us to check on the propane cylinder for the BBQ that was in his yard. It isn't his but the landlord/friends who left it there when they moved out. Harry and I took one look at it and shivered with fear that Mike would even attempt to use it. So over to Home Depot, where we were able to get a new BBQ already assembled. Then shopped for the accessories, and then food. So it turned into a bit of an expensive trip but so worth the peace of mind knowing he will be safe. He called about an hour ago to say he is at his home (they got a ride from another person) and expressed great appreciation to us for having done all the preparations for him. We will take them all back to Petawawa on Sunday afternoon. You feel good when you get responses like that. He didn't have a BBQ of his own so he will make good use of it I'm sure. We tend to do a lot of BBQing - I find it is a time where I can just sit on the picnic table while I watch the food cooking and a time to relax a bit.
Well, time to take the dog out and then to bed. Did not sleep well last night - I am going through the travel plans I need to make for my trip west - I seem to "drive" the trip in my mind over and over again thinking about how far I can get in one day, and wondering if I can achieve such an ambitious agenda? My eyesight has deteriorated so much that I wonder if it will have a negative affect this time around. We'll soon find out won't we? Take care

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Pati here
Well, I've been thinking about this. Friday night is looking like lasagne and garlic toast. I have ribs made and in the freezer for Saturday night. Will probably add rice and salad to that. For Sunday, I was thinking of meatballs in packaged Ragout sauce, cooked in the Crock Pot, with baked potatoes and/or potato salad. Monday I plan to cook a turkey early in the day and we can nibble on cold turkey for the rest of the day. There should be lots of potato salad to serve with the turkey during the day. That way people can eat when it suits them or when they need to be on the road home. We can have oven French Fries with the turkey for supper. For lunches, I had planned to just make sure there is bread and cheese and peanut butter and pickles--maybe some hard boiled eggs. One day we may lunch at the chip truck out on the highway. I will be baking cookies on Monday , and maybe a couple of banana loaves. That's as much planning as I've done. Looks like I forgot all about vegetables and fruit. If David gets out picking strawberries next week we'll have some of those to take down, and I may ask Amber to be responsible for bringing some fruit. Could you bring raw veggies or salad? Dianne is bringing the potato salad. I plan to serve cereal and toast for breakfast, along with fruit juice. I like hot cereal when I have a big day ahead of me, and I'll take down both oatmeal and rolled oats, as well as Red River cereal. We will have bottled and fresh water, tea and coffee. People will have to bring any other drinks they think they might need.

Any other suggestions or requests? I think if there is anything here that someone can't eat, they will have to make their own arrangements for an alternative.

Wind wind and wind

the weather has been really weird here this summer. We have been having single digit nights (ie 3!!!) and the days have been really windy. I hope we have some summer this year. Work has been busy since we are short staffed. I wish there was free time to teach someone else what I do, since I am the only one who can't take more than a day at a time off. What a Sh---y summer. Maybe I will take every Monday off this winter. That would be okay. A young couple we know have asked if they could camp in our yard on Saturday night (we have the fire pit and the pool) their kids are 9, 8 & 6 and they just want a family outing (money IS an issue for them) I was thinking of inviting over some other people we know who are close in age to them, but there is a big annual party that night a few miles from here and I think most people we know will be there. (This guy hires live bands for the party.... we can usually hear them here). We have NO plans for the next weekend and I am keeping it that way. I have to keep reminding Jim, though. He keeps offering to do things. I just say..."We're busy. Don't you remember?" He's catching on. What am I to bring out to the lake? We are ordering meat today, so if you can think of something please let me know ASAP. I will also need directions, since it is over 10 years since I have been there, and I never was good with directions. I am at work right now. It seems I'm never awake enough to write in the morning and I am too tired at night. (mentally tired right now) It will be great to see everyone. I hope it all works out

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Pati here
Did you know that when water runs down a drain it makes a noise? It does in my new kitchen drain. The plumber had to ream the pipe out, and re-use it, because the join was on the other side of a wall and then install a whole new drain system under the sinks to attach to the cleaned-out pipe. He had such a hard time reamming out the pipe that he made a special note on the bill. He sent David to Rona to buy parts as he said that, if he went out to buy them, he would have to charge for his time and then add 40% to the price. Anyway, it's done and not as expensive as I had feared. Whe-e-ew! She said as she wiped the sweat from her brow.


Pati here
We really do get attached to these plants, don't we? It is such a joy when they take off. I think of David and his Lady Slippers. He seems to have the same sort of attachment to the Christmas Cactus. And now I'm becoming emotionally involved with my Hellebore. I even see the same sort of thing starting to develop in Amber, where she is noticing things in the garden and worrying about them. She took some Lily of the Valley from our yard to plant in hers. This is the Lily of the Valley that I took--originally--from the house on Maplewood. Our rhubarb came from Maplewood , as well.

We have other worries this morning. Our kitchen drains are totally plugged. We spent last night watching Liquid Plumber try to work, but this morning David acknowledges that we may have to call a plumber. I hope he doesn't put it off too long--we have a big weekend planned.

The whole thing makes me think about life. We're finally--after 43 years--in a position to start to save some money. We've been trying since April, and now have a little in the bank (read very little--probably enough to pay a plumber--I hope) Our plans are to have enough that we might be able to pay cash (mostly cash?) for a new car--maybe in a couple of years. Or that we might be able to get away during the winter for a couple of weeks. Not going to happen at this rate. So, my question is, have we made a mistake in living well? We haven't lived extravagantly, but we've lived up to our income. Our children know that there will be no huge estate when we go. About a year ago, when thinking about my life, I said that, while I've done some stupid things, my only real regret is that I didn't spend more time with my children when they were young. I've also acknowledged that, if I had been a "stay-at-home Mom", I probably would have murdered both of them. Well, we can't change the past, so I'll go back to enjoying one day at a time--even if I have to make my coffee in the bathroom today.

Be - Trouble getting on

For what ever reason I could not get on - some message about my "cookie functionality". Just tried again quick before resorting to e-mail and here I am - so I do not know what happens within the inner bowels of these machines to make them so finnicky and variable?
This will be quick as I wait for Harry to return - we need to get his keys from the garage who serviced his car yesterday but failed to lock the keys in the car for our arranged after hours pickup.
The excitement for me is the opening of two blossums on my clematis - have waited 10 years. Really!! I have babied this plant after rescuing it from the flower bed that long ago. It finally started to grow over last few years but this year for first time two blossums appeared. They are now open and are a gorgeous light purple colour, single pedal flowers. I am overjoyed ( doesn't take much to get me going these days eh?)
Well, the bell has rung - I'll communicate later!!! Take care

Monday, July 13, 2009


The Nanaimo Bar mix wasn't quite what I remembered. I guess this means that I'll have to bite the bullet and actually buy the ingredients to make it from scratch.

Had Amber and the children for supper last night. I made a cold supper and it was far more work that a hot one would have been, but at least, Jessica enjoyed it. She seems to be addicted to deviled eggs, so gets some protein. The little one didn't eat a lot, but Amber says she has been off her food lately. Not necessarily a bad thing because she had a appetite like a stevedore for quite awhile. Her hair was done a little differently and I can't believe how different she looked. She was happy and giggling most of the evening as well, which was a welcome change.

A long bike ride this morning. The bike trail is 5.5km from end to end and we went most of the way, but were both ready to quit about 3/4 of the way home--so cut it short. We're off to Pinawa on Friday, and need to make sure the stock is all priced and packed. Since David wants to pick strawberries on Wednesday, it looks like the next couple days will be busy. We have been talking about getting a couple more easels to display work, and I have a lot more matted work. So we're going to head out this morning with my Michael's coupons and get a couple more. David likes to put a coat of varnish on them, and will need a couple of days to do that.

Amber wanted to know what she could contribute to the long weekend. Since everyone will be up and out etc at different times, I told her that I would let her know the menus, and then she could bring whatever her family might need over and above. The little ones tend to be fussy eaters, and I tend not to cater to them. There is freezer room down there and David will be going down for a couple of days next week, in the truck with Gail, so I'll send some "stuff" down then. It'll make packing for the weekend much easier.

So now it's up and "at 'em" , and off to Micheal's for the third time in 4 days.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Be- a quick note before bed

Just came back from a fast trip to North Bay - Mike's friend called to say he had locked his bag with his keys in Mike's place and could we go up to get them. Mike had stated this afternoon when we spoke with him at Petawawa that he received a text message that Joe had left his bag with his keys and could we look for them when next we were up? So we were getting mixed messages but what the heck.. Joe sounded desparate. When we entered Mike's place the lights were on, the TV on with a game playing, and the love seat pushed up to the TV with the game remotes sitting on the seats, and someon'e hat and MP3 player sitting on the table and a few bottles of beer. I immediately thought someone was in the house and started to search all the closets and under the bed (a wild imagination I guess ?) So we phoned Mike on his cell - he was a bit startled at first but then worked out that Joe and another friend Sam were playing games in his place and somehow locked themselves out ( likely went out for a smoke) and could not get back in. So we turned off everything and took the knapsack, and hat etc over to Joe's place. We figure that he was too embarrassed to have told us the truth that they locked themselves out with all the lights and equipment on, so just failed to mention this to us when he called. I wish I had known so that I was not surprised when we entered Mikes place and thinking the worst!
Anyway, it brought some spontanious excitement into my life for a moment, and I did purposefully stop for a Tims coffee on our way out of town - I know, it is a long way to go for a coffee.....
Well, tomorrow to Mothers. Today I made dinners up in containers to freeze (like TV dinners) to take to her. She is really not able to cook much and finds ready made meals to heat in microwave quite good. We have taken all sorts of meals such as lasgana, spaghetti, and today I made hamburgers in gravy with mashed potatoes and vegetables nicely packaged into TV dinner trays. Also made a strawberry kuchen cake to take - she likes these. I made some strawberry muffins yesterday but they are quite a moist texture - a new recipe that I don't think I like too much ( but doesn't stop me from eating them)
Today I took out my bike and washed it all up, and pumped up the tires, and took it for a spin to try it out - the brakes squeak but work. So now I must try to go for rides more often and get some exercise.
Well, time to go - Take care

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Fun

I would sure like some time with my sisters! Even if it is only one evening playing cards!. Painted at the legion today. Jim went to Minnedosa to the fair. He goes every year with his friend Stef, so no one expected him at the legion until tomorrow. I am so sore and stiff from painting. Got there at about 8:15 and about 3 we had all had enough. All I wanted was a hot soaky bath. Unfortunately, for some strange reason, as soon as we got home Jim ran himself a bath. ( I guess watching a parade and drinking beer can be stressful on a person ) ((MEOW) I am just waiting for a chance at the tub. At least I changed the sheets on the bed while he was soaking. If we are both going to be clean at once I am going to take advantage of it! We actually got quite a bit done today. Much more than I had expected. There were 8 of us there, on and off, Ken & Jim only stayed for about 4 hours, including lunch, but they are both over 80! Chicken Delight (Jean & Gary) donated the lunch. Chicken, fries, cole slaw & watermelon. We also got a free beer with lunch and 2 free beers after we were done. I was so sore I had trouble lifting my glass! Tomorrow they will finish up the high spots and we will do the blue trim and we are done! NExt weekend is Lily Fest. I am working at VCC from 3 to ? on Saturday and at the Lily Tent from 10 to 1 on Sunday. The next weekend I am not making plans! I hear the tub draining... my time is near I am really looking forward to seeing you
Love Ya

That Settles it!

Beth, you have to come. Don't worry about $$$ for food etc--just get here. The Gods are smiling. Today I went in a store I rarely go to. I was looking for something for supper tomorrow when the girls are here. What's this??! I don't believe it!! Robin Hood Nanaimo Bars mix!! A portend! It is written! This weekend will happen! I've been looking for that stuff for months now and had decided that it just isn't made anymore ( Maybe it isn't--oh oh) I don't care. I'm dancing!

Should'a warned you! (for what that's worth!)

Pati here
We had that storm here as well. Started about 4;30 and lasted for 6 hours. Water in the basement. We've had that happen three times in the 10 years we've lived here--twice in the past week. It seems to take a very strong, driving rain from the west to do it. And we've sure had that. In the paper this morning there was a headline that two men, and maybe a third were killed in a tornado near Ear Falls ( north of Dryden). Evidently they were Americans who live in "Tornado Alley", but were up here on vacation. Right now we're getting cooler weather. Strange year.

I see our new keyboard is starting to get dirty from people eating while they work. Guess I shouldn't be surprized, since I just found a glob of jelly and a bunch of toast crubs in my lap We're still having trouble with the wireless connection for the laptop. Frustrating, especially when I'm signed into a poker tournament. I really haven't been doing well with that. My stack is down about 3000 points over the past month to just around 15,000, but David broke 320,000 yesterday. I'm really finding out that my low frustration tolerance makes it difficult to stay with it long enough to win.

Finding time for yourself is a hard one. It can mean being assertive when you know there will be consequences--not easy to do. Sometimes it can mean taking your time in small doses, and little bites of bliss, whenever it happens. But that doesn't help with practising a violin.

Be- Been a few days but here I am

Been a very full and hectic week with many trips to Mothers starting on Mon with picking strawberries and taking three baskets to her directly. She had tried to boil fruit and boiled it over all over stove - quite a mess which needed to be cleaned up immediately.Then all day Tuesday where I did more house chores, including cutting her hair and giving the stove a really good cleaning. Then to Kirkland Lake Wednesday ( 4 hour drive one way) to take strawberries and pick up a garden wagon his brother had made for him. Then Thursday to Mothers again and worked in garden, made lunch and then home to do garden work here, and painting. Friday was spent in own yard doing more work, and BBQ for supper. Was up for a good part of last night shovelling water from front of house as we experienced bad thunder storm during the night. This morning will be going to North Bay to check on Mikes house once Harry returns from his garage sale travels - today is still wet so maybe there won't be too many sales to attend but actually weather does not seem to impact much around here. There are many complimentary BBQs at various businesses in town today so it is too bad weather is not cooperating. My dream also would be to have some time to myself which I believe was a suggestion from you - I haven't been near the sewing machine nor my violin for too long now. I did manage to telephone re my EI which to date I have not received anything! Apparently there may be a first deposit this week for $47.00. I can hardly wait! Well, thats all for now - sorry has been so long and I will be sure to write more often....Take care

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yup! restless!

But--boy! --have I ever accomplished a lot! Last night I printed off 16 greeting cards. For each one I had to pull up a picture, and organize it so that it would print properly on the card stock I had. Today I had planned to run off a whole bunch of pictures on fabric to use in collages. I bought all of the peripheral stuff I needed to make these finished, ready to hang on a wall. Wouldn't you know it--ran out of ink. I have a suspicion that when we got the new printer, David sent the old one back with our newly purchased ink cartidges in it, rather than switching them for the ones in the new printer. New printers come with very small cartridges--about 1/4 the size of the purchased ones. All of the greeting cards would have used it all up. Printing on fabric takes extra ink--so I guess that will all have to wait until I can afford a new cartridge. I had planned to start working on the fabric pictures today. Just as well--the sewing machine broke today. Just had it serviced recently, but off we went to the repair place--at Academy and Kenaston. Thank Goodness they were able to fix it while I waited.
Rode by myself today, and instead of Timmie's, I went to Starbucks--just for a change. Strong coffee and stale scones!
I've been looking for a new doctor. I heard about a new lady doctor within blocks of the house, and gave her office a call. I have an appointment for next week. Now we have to hope she is willing to take on a senior citizen with all of the problems that entails! Some of them are refusing to do it, as this sort of person can take a lot of time.
So, now for supper.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Pati here
I have no memory of Mom making either Nanaimo bars or New York Slice. Could she have started doing that after I left home? I know she did a bit of baking when I first left, and she wasn't working.

I'm glad Amber made it safely. I know she is a grown woman with a family of her own, but "mommy" still worries. She was looking forward to joining you for supper. Do you still play poker once in awhile? Should I make sure the cards and chips are at the lake? I acctually won a small tournament on line yesterday after a two week drought. I usually play one or two tournaments before bed, as a way to gear down, so I can sleep. Unfortunately, I tend to fall asleep at the computer, which isn't good in hte middle of the game.

David and his sister are off for the lake this evening. They plan to replace the roof on the laundry room/shed. They also have to deal with the downed trees that were left behind when the tree people took care of the one on the roof, and the others that were dangerously leaning. David believes that they will be home Thursday. It will be strange to be alone for that long, but we'll see how I manage. I always dream of having time to work/play with no demands being made on my time, but I have a hunch I'll get restless by Wednesday around supper time.

Last night was my Ravenesque meeting. We met a new member's house in Chrleswood. There was myself and two other ladies along with our hostess. The two other ladies both tend to speak loudly, and I made the mistake of wearing my hearing aid, so by the end of the evening, I had a nasty headache. As well, the hostess had two dogs-very well trained and well behaved- but behaviour has no effect on allergies. I don't know that I'm allergic to animals, but I seem to be allergic to just about everything else these days, so why not. I'm trying to do without Claritin, and I think that everything contributed to my feeling generally sh---y.

Our hostess had also just bought herself a pile of quilt-related books. What a pleasure to spend a whole evening browsingthrough such beautiful pictures and looking for ideas!

Monday, July 6, 2009


We had fun golfing yesterday. Our team won the most honest golfer prize, which leads me to think we deserved it, because I know that some of those teams out there had a higher score than we did. I actually thought that 45 wasn't that bad! Amber made it for supper. Steak and all the trimmings. She won the very last prize draw. All that was left for her was a hat. We sort af abandoned her in town about 8pm. There was nothing much more to do and we were all beat from being out in the sun all afternoon. We will get together again today unless something comes up for her. We told her that if she can't stand the hotel she is welcome t stay here. Back to work today. It will be busy for a while until we can get a bit caught up. They may take time since we are short-staffed. I remember mom making Nanaimo bars. She didn't call them that, and until I had my first real Nanaimo bar I didn't realize that was what they were. I, however, never seem to bake, and when I do it is not at all what I intended it to be. Of course experimenation is 1/2 the fun, it's just that I am not intending to experiment! I have a few sore muscles today. To be expected I suppose. If I keep moving they will feel better. Jim is up already! He is driving me to work this morning and I expected to be shaking him at about 7:30. Surprise! I will go and talk to him. Love Ya

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nanaimo Bars

Pati here
That sure sounds like the recipe I found in Jean Pare--much different than the recipe I used to use. After buying them and being disappointed, I really want to make some, and I sure need the calories. I splurged and bought some cookies from Safeway--a variety pack of jumbo gourmet cookies. Then we discoverd that 1/4 of them were peanut butter. We better stick to home-made. Back to poker.

Be - from Strawberries to Nanaimo Bars

FYI - Cathy, Patty and I were talking about Nanaimo Bars and I recalled a receipe I took from Mom called Chocolate New York Slice which was the only name I knew to call these delicious bars - I had never heard of Nanaimo Bars until I tasted one and realized Mom used to make them but called as per the above - so I checked the recipe I took from home Patty, and the bottom is made with cocoa, graham wafer crumbs, nuts and coconut and the filling is with butter, custard powder, and icing sugar. So it sounds same as the more popular name of Nanaimo.
Funny that on the news they had interviews with the Strawberry Pick Your Own places around this area and they say it is poor this year and very late and likely will not be a good crop. The one place lost all their crop, and the other more popular place says they lost their early berries and that the mid summer berries are all they will have and that picking is taking place now but not very good. We may not get very many if we go on Tuesday??
Accomplished a fair amount of work today outside including finishing the new wooden lawn chairs with bright green paint and placing them in the picnic area - they look great but so bright it puts the other stuff to shame so I may have to freshen up the picnic table or smaller table in order to complement the chairs. Deers are finding their way into our yard - the other day found the tracks but no damage but tonight I spotted our tomatoes and the tops have been eaten off. So I have put more Downey sheets all around - apparently they are a deterent to deers ( but not too good by the looks of it haha) Oh well - nothing like the wild life enjoying a good feed at night!
Well, tomorrow it is to Mothers so I better get to bed now and rest up!
Cathy, hope your visit with Amber is good - did you have a nice supper at Legion?
Take Care.


Talking about strawberries brought back memories of the Findlay's 50th wedding anniversary. She wanted to serve strawberries and angel food cake for dessert, so she took us all out picking strawberrries. ( That is Father, me, David and both Amber and Loren) She was not well by then, and looked unwell, so the people at the strawberry farm brought out a lawn chair and umbrella and she sat at the end of the rows and provided direction to those of us picking. We picked a big( read big) picnic cooler full of them. Now we had driven from the lake to the farm north of Hadashville, picked all of these strawberries, and then driven back to the lake. Then they had to be processed for the freezer, because the party wasn't until about 2 months later. So at about 3:00, she and I sat down to process the berries. In the end we had two five gallon pails of strawberries. I was so tired I wept. She was convinced that we needed that much to feed everyone who would be at the dinner. The kicker came when David and I had to transport the strawberries to the dinner--in the trunk of our car. One of the pails fell over and half of the strawberries ended up in the trunk of the car. We stopped in a parking area and cleaned them out through the hole where the spare tire usually sat. We took the other pail into the dinner and everyone had lots of strawberries, and Mother never knew the difference. BUT since then, I refuse to clean more than about 5 baskets of strawberries at any one time. Even though we drive out to Portage to pick them, I would rather go twice than have to clean more than 5 baskets.

Be - Finally some decent weather

Well, decent enough to be outdoors but not without a coat as was cool. Ran the roads yesterday a bit, and then received a call from some of Harry's relatives from Hamilton who have a place on the Lake in Sundridge - so then after a quick supper went there for about two hour visit. They have property on the waterfront and had three camping trailers set up for the weekend - two cousins of Harry and a friend of one of the cousins with wifes and kids and dogs etc. The one cousin owns the property, and plans to construct a cottage but so far that is just in the drafting stage.
Today is sunny and looks to be a clear day so it will likely be another outdoors day with lots of jobs lined up for me to do in the yard. On Wednesday this week we are driving up to Kirkland Lake for the day only. Harry's brother made him a wagon /trolly to use outside to carry dirt/plants etc so we will go to pick it up. Monday will be to Mothers as usual, and Tuesday will be picking strawberries to take some up to Kirkland Lake. The rest we will take some to Mothers and do down in the freezer, and then I expect the remainder will be ours? Harry bought a book - What to do with Strawberries - and was reading off several recipes etc so perhaps that will be another task for me to complete? Anyway......take care

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pati here

I would have thought that your union contract covered call backs on holidays--mileage if nothing else. Bummer! I know a union rep if you need one.

I have bought ribs, and I'll make them up and freeze them ahead of time. Dianne says she'll bring a big thing of potato salad, but with dressing on the side, so that we can use it over a couple of days. Salad makings are always welcome. Dianne is diabetic--not that she is too fussy about what she eats. She will be bringing her own breakfasts, as we usually have porridge and toast, and she says she avoids carbs. I don't plan on buying "snacks". If anyone needs snacks they have to bring their own. But I will make some cookies. I think I'll hard boil some eggs, so we can make egg salad or devilled eggs, maybe for lunches. We'll have lots of bottled water, and some Crystal Lite, but you may want to bring your own, if you have a favourite. You may also want to bring your own pop, as I will only have caffeine-free diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper--but I'll have lots.

I had set a deadline of July 1st for having all of my show stock done. I've worked full out for the past few weeks, and did the last little bit Wednesday evening. Now I only have three collages to mount and matt, but can't do them until I get the matts (ordered and paid for). So--now I don't know what to do with myself. I'm sure it will work itself out, but I seem to be in some sort of doldrum. Again I'm at a crossroads. I've not sold any of my serious ( IMHO) work, despite several high-profile exhibitions. People around me are selling, and I just got the invitation to a gallery opening for 5 acquaintances, as well as an invitation to a one-man show for another acquaintance. Oh S--t! More navel gazing and self doubt! Time for coffee.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time off

I have signed up to get July 31 off work. Jim & I are planning on leaving early on Friday and getting there early afternoon. I figure it will be about a 5 hour ? drive for us. What can we bring. I can offer ribs for Daddys ribs. I still have your pork tenderloin, Pati, but I hesitate to bring it to you there. I could bring anything we need to cook. Basically, I can bring just about any meat you want, and the new potatoes should be more than ready then. Any other garden things? This should be so much fun. I am on holidays for one more day. I had to go into work today because they just couldn't balance. So, I jumped into the beast (jim had the car in Brandon); drove into town: walked into the office; looked down; and said this is wrong.. this is the number you need. Time to solution ... 7 seconds. Time I will be credited with after being called into work from holidays? ZERO! Oh well. I hope you will be able to be there, Beth. If Harry comes with you, I think he and Jim will get along fine. If not.... I can play cards with the best of them. Amber says she will be in Neepawa next week. I am looking forward to seeing her. I told her there is a steak dinner at the legion on Sunday. If she makes it... great. I also told her that she and her co-workers are more than welcome to come here for a fire/bbq while they are in town. I think that she feels she will be imposing if she brings strangers here, but they deserve some downtime while they are in town, and we have the fire and bbq whether anyone is here or not. We'll see what happens. It is early to hit the sack, but I had a bad nights sleep again last night. I see the Doctor again tomorrow. i had a couple of tests last week and get the results tomorrow. Worst case.. antibiotics.. just before a legion work party with free beer! Oh well... after working Ice water is even better than beer. Have a good weekend!

Be- Crazy weather

I know they forecast rain for most of week but it is so crazy - off and on rain and then clearing, and then rain again. And in very separate areas eg raining in Sundridge but then up the highway in next town is clear and sunny! Going on the highway you can see the cloud just sitting in the sky waiting for you to drive under it and drench you.
We were to Mothers today - had to fix her fridge which was leaking water into main fridge area - turned out to be blocked tube running from self defrosting freezer down to tray at bottom. Harry and I worked on it for about two hours but got it working OK. He called his brother on the phone (appliance repair man) only two times! There are always little "repair" jobs to be done every time we go - or on several occasions a telephone call to us eg toilet not working, and we are off to her place immediately. I hope I will never live to be 97 years old - Mother gets so upset with her inability to do things anymore - she tells me "its an awful state to be in at this age- can't see, or hear or able to help yourself....." One thing though in her favour - she has a great appetite and we don't have to worry about her not eating well. It is apparent that I shall have to prefill her dosette every time we go - she has been doing it on her own but really can't manage and is so appreciative when I am there to do it for her.
I even got some of my own housework done this afternoon before we made a quick trip to North Bay - had to go to Mike's- he called us from Petawawa with a little thing that had to be done for him at his house that had been forgotten in his rush to get packed yesterday. we drove him to Pet yesterday as I mentioned, and had a fairly good trip inspite torrential rains at times.
Well must go - Take care

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wexford St.

Sandy and Laurie McIntyre. Laurie was Grannie's niece(?), but they were of an age,and very close friends--so were more like sisters. Lorraine was named after her, and was much closer to her than Dad, but I remember visiting when I was about 15. She served sherry to everyone, and I tried to help. There was one glass on the tray that someone almost got by mistake, and Laurie had to step in quickly. It tuned out to have cold tea in it. Although Laurie always served the stuff, she, herself, was a teetotaller. She lived to quite an age--over 100. Her daughter Catherine--familiar name--was my mentor as an OT. She was the one who worked at the Municpals hospitals during the polio epidemic of the early 50's, with Eileen Nordstrom as her assistant. Catherine married one of her patients--Ian Cochrane--who became a prosthetist here in the city and, at one point, one of my instructors at University.